Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2140972 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 20, 1938
Filing dateJul 1, 1935
Priority dateJul 1, 1935
Publication numberUS 2140972 A, US 2140972A, US-A-2140972, US2140972 A, US2140972A
InventorsGregory V Rylsky
Original AssigneeBendix Aviat Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means for illuminating dials of instruments
US 2140972 A
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

G. V. RYLSKY MEANS FOR ILLUMINTING DIALS OF INSTRUMENTS Dec. 2o, 1938.

Filed July l, 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 M ww 4,/ WJ x. Nm; UN@ m m w NNN, m] J v @n m A QW MN @WMV QW mum; w l Nm; NN

E] wv c M om @m9 1y MHyZS/ey.

Humm/1J G. v. RYLsKY 2,140,972

MEANS FOR ILLUMINATING DIALS OF INSTRUMENTS Dec. 20, 19380 Filed July 1, 19:55 s'sheets-sneet 2 Dec. 20, 1938. G. v. RYLsKY MEANS FOR ILLUMINATING DIALS OF INSTRUMENTS s sheets-sneet'a Filed July l, 1935 @M /WMMQM Patented Dec. 20, 1938 i MEANS FOR. ILLUMINATING DIALS F INSTRUMENTS Gregory V. Rylsky, New York, N. Y.,

Bendix Aviation Corporation, South Bend,

assignor to Ind.,

a corporation of Delaware Application July 1, 1935, serial No. 29,323

15 Claims.

The present invention relates to indicating instruments and/or indicating devices and more particularly to means for illuminating the indi- 'eating means thereof.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide novel means for indirectly illuminating the indicating means of an indicating instrument or confined path adjacent the surface of the dial and in a plane substantially parallel to the dial and then deflected from the path and substantially evenly distributed over the surface of the dial;

Another object is to provide a novel device for use in illuminating an indicating surface such as a dial of an instrument whereby light may be introduced to the dial from a point source and the rays from the latter directed in a confined path adjacent the periphery of the dial and then deflected from the path and substantially evenly distributed from the periphery of the dial toward the center thereof and along its surface.

Another object is to provide a novel illuminating adapter whereby an optical device embodying the invention may be attached to a ready-built instrument mounted on a panel, for indirectly illuminating the dial of the instrument from an external source in the manner set forth above.

A further object is to provide, in combination with a source of light and an indicating dial or other indicating surface, a novel device for illuminating the dial or surface and comprising a transparent lightdirecting member having its outer surface coated with a material which prevents light rays from emerging from the member but reflects them in the interior thereof, said member extending along a path adjacent the periphery of the dial and the coating of material covering the entire surface of said member except for a relatively narrow slit extending along said member on or near that'side thereof which is adjacent said dial whereby light emerges from said slit and is directed onto said dial without producing glare and without permitting the light rays to be visible from the front of the dial. Preferably, though not necessarily, the slit is made 55 to diverge along the surface of the member from source and the rays from the latter directed in av (Cl. {M0-2.1)

the point or near the point at the end of said member at which light is introduced thereinto.

l A still further object is to provide in an indicating instrument having a dial, novel means for indirectly illuminating the dial of said instrument 5 and constituting an integral part of the assembled instrument, comprising an illuminating member of light conducting material and of substantial length adjacent the plane of the dial, said member having its outer surface coated with a material which prevents light rays from emerging from said member, said coating of material covering substantially the entire surface of said member except for a relatively narrow slit extending along said member on that side thereof which is adjacent the dial whereby light emerges from said slit and onto said dial without producing glare and without 'permitting the rays to be visible from the front of the dial,and means for passing light through said member from one end thereof.

A further object of the invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive illuminated dial having a pointer or pointers, in which the pointers and/or the scale of the dial are clearly legible both when not illuminated and viewed by daylight, and when illuminated at night in accordance with the novel method of the invention.

Another object is to provide a dial having an indirectly illuminated scale orvpointer(s) or both which appear to be in themselves source-s of illuminationwhen viewed in the dark.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a novel and simple illuminating adapter whereby the same may be easily attached to a ready-built instrument mounted on a panel by fastening screws and may be secured to the front of the instrument by the same screws which hold the instrument on the panel.

The above and other objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully herein- 4o after from a consideration of the detailed description which follows, taken together with the accompanying drawings, wherein several embodiments of the invention are illustrated. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purposes of illustration and description only and are not intended to define the limits of the invention, reference being had to the appended claims for this purpose.

In the drawings, wherein like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, Y

Fig. 1 is a front view of an indicating instrument having one form of illuminating means embodylng the present invention applied thereto as an adapter;

Fig. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken on line-22 of Fig. 1:

Fig. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3 3 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is an exploded view of the illuminating adapter embodying the invention and removed from the instrument;

Fig. 5 is a sectional view of another embodiment of the invention wherein the illuminating means are embodied in an instrument as an integral part thereof;

Fig. 6 is a section taken on line 6--6 of Fig. 5;

Fig. 'Z is an enlarged partial view of parts of another embodiment of the illuminating means of the invention;

Fig. 8 is an enlarged detailed perspective view showing the manner of applying a source of light to the parts shown in Fig. 7;

Fig. 9 is an enlarged partial detail view showing the manner in which light is transmitted from the light source and distributed over the surface of the dial in accordance with the invention;

Fig. 10 is an enlarged detail view showing the cross section of another form of optical member embodying the invention and the manner in which light is distributed over the dial;

Fig. 11 is an enlarged View of a portion of an optical member made in accordance with the invention and showing the manner in which light rays pass therethrough and are reected therefrom;

Fig. 12 shows a portion of another form of optical member;

Fig. 13 illustrates a portion of still another form of optical member, showing its cross section;

Fig. 14 illustrates a, still further form of the optical member, showing its cross section;

Fig. 15 is a. cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the invention and forming an integral part of an indicating instrument;

Fig. 16 is a sectional view taken on line I6 of Fig. 15; and

Fig. 17 is a perspective view of a still further embodiment of the invention, wherein the lightconducting member is in the form oi a straight glass or quartz rod.

The invention consists substantially in the construction'. combination, location and relative arrangements of parts for obtaining the results desired in accordance with the hereinbefore stated objects, as will be more fully hereinafter set forth in the specification, as shown in the drawings and as finally pointed out in the claims.

Heretofore, various methods, means, arrangements and combinations have been utilized in an endeavor to indirectly illuminate an indicating dial such, for example, as the dial of an indicating instrument and, although such prior arrangements were successful in accomplishing their functions to a certain extent, it was difficult to obtain substantially uniform distribution of lightover the dial and, hence, the illumination of the dial was not uniform. It was also diicult to secure adequate shielding of the source from which illumination was derived. In accordance with the present invention, these difficulties are substantially eliminated and substantially uniform distribution and illumination of the dial is obtained. This is accomplished by providing a member in the form of a rod of any light conducting material such as glass 0r quartz from emerging therefrom and which preferably i may act as a reflecting surface on the inside of the rod so that when light rays are passed through the rod, they will be reflected by the surface. If the surface is coated, the coating of material is made to cover the entire surface of the rod except for a relatively narrow slit extending along the rod on one side thereof, preferably at or near its inner periphery when the rod is bent or otherwise shaped into a form of some geometrical figure, so that when the rod is placed adjacent a dial to be illuminated, the light rays will emerge from the slit and will be directed onto the dial. without producing glare and without permitting the rays to be visible from the front of the dial, it being understood, of course, that the rod is placed adjacent the dial with the slit toward the dial.

'I'he coating of material may preferably be dispensed With and, instead, the surface of the light conducting member may be roughened, notched or otherwise treated to provide a plurality of deflecting or reflecting surfaces projecting inwardly of the member so that as the light rays enter from one end of said member and pass therethrough to the other end, many of them are deilected and/or reflected out of their normal path through the member and substantially at right angles to the path at the point of reflection. The entire surface is not roughened but that portion is left smooth and clear which is to be disposed toward the dial to be illuminated so that the deflected or reflected rays may emerge or be emitted from said light conducting member through said smooth or clear portion. Also, the coating and roughening may be used together, the amount of each depending upon the result desired,

A source of light such as a lamp, for example,

is then placed at the end of the rod or between the ends of said rod if the latter is bent or otherwise formed into a circular, rectangular, triangular or other geometrical configuration. with the ends brought together but spaced sufficiently apart to permit the lamp to be inserted between said ends. The light from the lamp will enter the rod at the end or ends and will be transmitted therethrough, due to the inherent properties of the light conducting material, along a path defined by the shape of the rod and will be reflected in the interior thereof by the reflecting surface formed by the coating or indentations on the outer surface of the rod or by the deflecting or reflecting surfaces formed when the surface of the rod is roughened, notchedor indented.

The path of the light rays will be restricted by the coating of material on the rod or by the roughened surface but they will emerge `from the slit formed on one side of said rod and will then impinge upon the dial. If the rod 0r curved member is coated, the slit is preferably made to taper in such a manner that it will be narrowest near the ends or end of the rod where the light is introduced and will become wider as the distance from the ends or end increases, this for the reason thatrthe light intensity is greatest at the ends ornd"of the rod where it is introduced and deof light is less, more light is permitted to emerge( from the rod because the slit gradually widens. j It is readily seen that the parts may be reversed,

"i" namely, the roughened surface or coating may be tapered so as to produce equal distribution of the light rays, that part of the surface near the source of light being the narrowest and the part remote from the light being the widest in order to reflect the proper amount of light at the respective locations.

Preferably, when the dial is that of an aircraft lindicating instrument, the background of said dial is made dark or black vand the scale and pointer or pointers are painted white, preferably with a suitable luminous material such as radium paint. In this manner, the white scale and pointers are clearly visible in the daytime without illumination, and at night they are rendered visible alone by virtue of the fact that they are rendered luminescent by the radium paint and lbecause the dial is black, and by providing the indirect illumination of the present invention, the scale and pointers stand out very clearly and prominently and Aappear to be in ithemselves sources of illumination without substantially illuminating the dark background of the dial.

'I'he basically novel combination of the present invention is, therefore, constituted by a dial which is preferably dark or black and having a white luminous scale and pointer or pointers, a glass or quartz member having a length sufficient to transmit light to all points of the dial or other surface on which characters are to be illuminated, said member having its outer surface coated with a material, or otherwise formedor treated, so as to prevent light from emerging therefrom except on that side thereof which is adjacent to or faces the dial or surface so that a tapered clear surface is formed through which the light emerges and is directed toward the dial, and alight source disposed at one end of the rod, or between the ends thereof when bent into a geometrical form with the. ends adjacent to each other, whereby light from the source is transmitted through the rod and reflected therefrom by the coated or roughened surface through the uncoated or smooth portion towards the dial. When the light conducting member is to be used for illuminating Y the -dial of an indicating instrument, it may be built into and made an integral part of the instrument or it may be made as a part of an adapter which may be secured to a ready-built instrui I ment without having to take the instrument apart or even without removing the instrument from the panel if already mounted thereon. If the rst case, the source of light or lamp would also be made a part of the complete instrument and in the second case, the lamp would be made part of the adapter. In either case, suitable means are provided for energizing the lamp.

Referring now to the drawings, the form of the invention shown in Figs. l to 4, inclusive, is embodied in an adapter for securing it to a readybuilt instrument to illuminate the dial thereof, the instrument being shown, in the present instance, as an altimeter fo-r use on aircraft. It is to be understood, of course, that the invention may be applied to any instrument having a dial provided with a contrasting scale and pointer or pointers which it is desired to illuminate or simply to any surface having characters which it is desired to illuminate. y

The adapter, in the form shown, comprises an annular member I1 provided with fastening lugs I8, by means of which it may be secured to the indicating instrument atV the lugs I9 .(Fig. 1) of l the instrument casing 20 (Fig. 2) by means of screws 2| which hold the instrument to the instrument panel 22. The member I1 conforms to the configuration of the periphery of the face of the instrument and although, in the present inl stance, it is shown as circular, it may take other geometric forms. If, for example, the instrument face were'rectangular or triangular, the member I1 could have a corresponding shape. 'Ihe annular member Il is provided withl an inturned flange 23 on its inner periphery to form a trough or recess 24. Within this trough or recess 24 is adapted to be placed a light conducting member of glass or quartz for example which, in the p-resent instance, is constituted by two semi-circular portions 25 and 26 so that when said portions are placed in recess 24 they form a substantially closed ring with their upper ends 2l and 28 spaced slightly apart for a purpose which will appear hereinafter, and the lower ends 29 and 30 are made to abut a separating member i or lug 3| provided on the annular member Il sideration of other embodiments of the invention to be described hereinafter. In the present embodiment, however, the glassmember is made in the two semi-circular portions 25 and 26 for the reason that the adapter is shown applied to an instrument in which a setting knob 32 is provided for setting the instrument for a certain desired condition and, hence, the adapter must be made so as to accommodate the knob.

It is to be understood, therefore, that the terms light-directing member, glass or quartz member, optical member, etc., used in this description and in the claims, are intended to include a member composed of tWo or more pieces held together, as Well as a member constituted by a single piece and is intended to cover any light conducting material.

When the senil-circular portions 25 and 26 are placed in the recess 24, they are held'therein by means of a retaining ring 33 which is adapted to be secured to the annular member Il by means of screws 35 (Fig. 4). A shield 36 is provided at the ends 21 and 28 of the portions 25 and 26 and is held in place by the retaining ring 33 when the latter is secured to the annular memberl'l. The annular member l1 is provided With a lampreceiving receptacle 3l into which is adapted to be inserted a lamp socket 38 which is threaded at 39 and which carries a small incandescentl of the threads 39, the lamp 40 extends into the recess 24 and between the ends 2l and 28 of the semi-circular glass or quartz members 25 and 26 so that light from the lamp 4D enters said members at said ends.

The outer surfaces'of the members 25 and 26 are, in the present embodiment, roughened and then coated With a suitable reflecting and opaque material as shown at 4|, but on one side of said members the surfaces are left clear to form light emitting slits 42 and 43 which are preferably tapered as shown so that said slits are narrowest at the ends 21 and 28 where the light enters the members 25 and 26 and are widest at the ends 29 and 30. The slits 42 and 43 are so located with respect to the periphery of the cross sections of the members 25 and 26 that they are not covered by the retaining ring 33, i. e., they are nearer the inner periphery of said members so that when the adapter is secured to the instrument casing 20, the light rays are emitted at all angles of from about 15 to 45 degrees to the plane of the members 25 and 26 instead of right angles thereto.

The receptacle 31 is provided with a plug 44 which is adapted to cooperate with a jack (not shown) for connecting the lamp to a suitable source of electrical energy (not shown) when the adapter is secured to the instrument casing 20, a hole being provided in the panel 22 for permitting said plug 44 to pass therethrough as shown in Fig. 2. Thus, it will be seen that when the adapter is assembled with the glass or quartz members 25 and 26 held in the receptacle 24 of the annular member I1 by the retaining ring 33 and the annular member I1 is secured to the instrument lugs I9 by means of the adapter lugs I8 and screws, and the lamp socket 38 is in the receptacle 31 and electrically connected to a suit-- able source by means of the plug 44, light from the lamp 40 will'enter the glass or quartz members 25 and 26 at their ends 21 and 28 and will be transmitted along a light-restricting path dened by the length, cross-section and shape of said members 25 and 26, and will be reiected in said members by the inner surface of the coating material 4I and will be prevented from emerging from said members except at the tapered slits 42 and 43 from which it will be directed towards the instrument through the cover glass 45 thereof and onto the dial 46 having a scale 46a with which the pointers 41 and 48 (Fig. l) of the instrument cooperate. As previously pointed out, the dial 46 is preferably dark lor black and the scale 46a and pointers 41 and 48 are white, preferably coated with a luminous substance such as radium paint.

The members 25 and 26 are positioned adjacent the periphery of the dial 46 and the light from the slits 42 and 43 is emitted at an angle to the plane of the dial 46. The light is distributed from the periphery of the dial toward its center and, since the slits 42 and 43 are tapered, the light intensity is substantially equal over the entire scale of the dial because less light is emitted through the slit Where the intensity is greatest and more light is emitted where the intensity is less, i. e., the intensity is greatest at the ends 21 and 28 of said members 25 and 26 and, therefore, the slits are narrowest at the ends, whereas the intensity is the least at the ends 29 and 30 and, therefore, the slits 42 and 43 are widest at this point. Thus, the amount of light emitted from the members 25 and 26 at any two points of the slits 42 and 43 throughout their lengths is substantially equal for the reason that the amount of light emitted is substantially equal to the product of the emitting area and the intensity. Hence, by tapering the slits, the product of intensity and emitting area remains constant, thereby providing uniformity of illumination.

'I'he surface 4I is preferably a roughened surface which is then silvered, as by painting with silver paint or by silvering in the manner that mirrors are silvered, so that on the inside of the members 25 and 26 a high degree of reflection of light is obtained without permitting the light to emerge from said members except at the slits 42 and 43. The shield 36 is to shield the lamp 40 as shown in Fig. 3 and thereby prevent light from being emitted from the adapter anywhere except at the slits provided for the purpose. The shield also aids to concentrate al1 the light into the ends 21 and 28 of the members 25 and 26.

Referring now to Figs. 5 and 6, there is shown another embodiment of the invention, wherein the light transmitting and distributing member is in the form of a one-.piece ring 49 instead of in two semi-circular pieces, and is built into the instrument as an integral part thereof. In this embodiment, the light conducting ring 49 is placed behind the cover glass 45 of the instru- Yment and is supported by an annular retaining member 50. In assembling the instrument the member 49 is placed into the retaining member 50 and the cover glass 45 is then pressed against the member 49 and secured in place by means of a clamping ring 5I as is well known to those skilled in the instrument art. Thus, the cover glass 45 cooperates with the retaining member 50 to hold the light directing member 49 in place adjacent the periphery of the dial 46 of the instrument.

In this embodiment, the lamp 40 is at right angles to the plane of the cover glass 45 and since the member 49 is in the form of a solid one-piece ring it has no ends between which the lamp 40 can be inserted. Means are, therefore, provided for introducing light into the interior of the ring member 49. For this purpose, a small circular piece 52 is cut out of the cover glass 45 near its periphery, adjacent the point at which the lamp 40 is located, the diameter of said piece 52 being substantially equal to the diameter of the cross section of the ring member 49 and to the diameter of the lamp 4D. The circular piece 52 is then cemented back into place in the cover glass 45, by means of an opaque material thus providing a break in the continuity of the cover glass at the point' at which light is emitted from the lamp 4I). By virtue of this fact and because the cemented surfaces between the circular piece 52 and the cover glass 45 act to prevent light from being dispersed in the cover glass itself, the 'light rays from lamp 40 are concentrated and directed in a direction at right angles to the plane of the cover glass and towards the glass ring member 49, the latter being slightly cut away at a point opposite the circular piece 52 as shown at 53 in Fig. 6.

Inasmuch as the light from the lamp 4D enters the glass ring member 49 through the portion 53 from the side of the ring and in a direction at right angles to the plane of said ring, means are provided forv reflecting the light so that it will be directed into the ring in a direction at right angles to the cross section of the ring at the point at which the light enters the portion 53. To attain this purpose, the ring member 49 is notched as shown in Fig. 6 to form two plane surfaces 54 and which are at right angles to each other and at an angle of about forty-ve degrees (45) to the direction at which the light enters the glass ring member from the lamp 40. These plane surfaces 54'and 55'are then silvered to provide refleeting surfaces on the inside of the ring member 49 so that as the light enters the ring at the portion 53, it is reflected in the directions shown by the arrows in Fig. 6. Since the glass member 49 is in the form of a one-piece ring, the tapered slits 42 and 43 shown in Fig. 4 of the adapter are also joined to form a single slit the narrow ends of which are shown at 42a, in Fig. 6.

Thus.

interior of said ring member, emerges through the tapered slit 42a and is thereby jdirected against the dial 46 substantially along its periphery toward the center substantially in the same manner as in the embodiment shown in Figs. 1 to 4, inclusive.

In Figs. 7 and 8 is shown another form of structure for introducing light into the glass ring member 49 from a lamp positioned at right angles to and out of the plane of the ring as in Fig. 5. In this form the light conducting ring member 49 is also in the form of a one-piece ring but has a piece cut out to provide ends 56 and 51 adjacent veach other. Between these ends 56 and 51 is then placed a light conducting piece 58 which is preferably in the form shown in Fig. 8. 'I'he width of the member 58 is substantially equal to the distance between the ends 56 and 51 of the glass ring member 49,so that when said piece 58 is inserted between said ends, the latter fall flush against the sides 59 a'nd 60 of said piece.

The piece 58 is provided with an opening 6I accessible from the front side thereof and into which the lamp 40 is adapted to be inserted when the lamp socket 38 is placed into its receptacle 31.

t The outer surface of the piece 58, like that of the glass or quartz ring member 49, is coated, roughened, notched or otherwise treated, so as to form a mirrored surface in the inside of said piece 58. On both the sides 59 and 60, however, of the piece 58 and near the lower end thereof some of the surface 4| is scratched away or otherwise removed to provide passages, one of which is shown at 62 in Fig. 8, through which light rays are adapted to emerge and enter the ends 56 and 51 of the ring member 49 when said piece 59 is placed between said ends as shown in Fig. '1. Also, as shown, the lower end of the piece 58 is cut away to form a V-notchI to provide reflecting surfaces 63 and 64, respectively. Thus, it will be seen in this embodiment that as light rays from the lamp 40 pass downwardly through the piece 58 they are reflected by the surfaces 63 and 64 in opposite directions at right angles to the directions at which they strike said surfaces 63 and 64 and emerge through the clear surfaces 62 which coincide with the ends 56 and 51, respectively, of the ring member 49, whereby said light rays enter said ring member as indicated by the arrows in Fig. '7. On entering the ends 56 and 51, the light rays are transmitted through the ring rmember 49 substantially along its entire length and are then reflected out of said ring member through the tapered slit 42a and toward the surface of the dial 46 in the manner previously described and as illustrated in Fig. 9, whereby the scale 46a is equally illuminated throughout the circumference of the dial without producing glare or rendering the light source or any light rays visible from the front of the dial.

In Fig, 10 is shown a cross-section of another form of glass ring member 49 in which is shown in detail how the outer periphery of the ring is made rough, or notched or corrugated, as shown at 63, before the coating of reflecting material 4| is applied thereto, in order to provide better reflection of the light rays on the inside of said ring member and outward through the clear surface or lslit 42a. This roughened or corrugated portion 68 may be made continuous on the outer l periphery of the ring or it may be provided in the form ofcircular or .oval indentations 64 as shown inFig. 12.

In the embodiment shown in Fig. 10, however,

' the coating 4I may be dispensed with inasmuch as the roughenedor corrugated portion 63 provides many deflecting or reflecting surfaces which deflect and/or reect the light rays from their normal path and out of the light conducting member 49 in the manner shown in/Fig. 11; but in such case, the corrugations are made substantially completely over the entire periphery of the glass member. A portion extending throughout substantially the length of-said membe1,vnearer its inner periphery, and on that side thereof which is to be placed toward the dial to be illuminated, is left uncorrugated so as to provide the necessary light-emitting passage. The area corrugated may be controlled and tapered instead of the slit 42a in order to provide uniform distribution of the light and in the desired amount. g

In the embodiment shown in Fig. 12, the surface of the light conducting member 49 is preferably uncoated except at the circular or oval indentations 65, i. e., only the indentations are silvered and provide the necessary reflecting surfaces. If desired, however, even the indentations may be left uncoated inasmuch as they will still be capable of deecting the light rays from their normally curved path through the member although not to as great an extent as when they are coated.

A further embodiment of .the invention may be employed in which the outer periphery of the ring member 49, whether silvered or not, is notched at spaced intervals along its length or circumference as shown at 65 in Fig. 1l. In the latter figure the arrows indicate the manner in which light rays are transmitted through the ring and are reflected therefrom by the mirrored surface and/or the notches 65.

49, in which said member has cross-sections other than circular and in which only certain portions of the surface are coated.

In Fig. 13 the outer surface of the ring 49 is formed in parallel circumferentially extending ridges forming curved surfaces 66 with the concave sides thereof facing the inside of the ring. That side of the ring member 49 which is to be placed toward the dial to beiliumin-ated is preferably at as shown at 61. The inner periphery of said ring member is also formed in parallel ridges but their surfaces are not curved in the manner as those of the outer ridges. In this form, the entire surface of the ring member 49 is coated with the material 4I except for the plane surfaces 68 so that the latter correspond to the slits 42 and 43 shown in Fig. 4 or the slit 42a shown in Figs. 6, 7 and 9. Thus, the light,

`49 is shown triangular, one side of the triangle constituting that side of the ring which is to be vdisposed toward the dial to be illuminated. Two

sides of the triangle are made flat as shown at 69 andl while the third side is curved as shown at 1|, the latter forming the curved surface of the outer periphery of s-aid ring member 49. The entire surface of the ring member is coated or shielded with the material 4| except the side 69 which is to be disposed adjacent the dial to\be illuminated and through which -the light rays emerge after reflection by the curved surface 1| as shown by the arrows in Fig. 14.

In Figs. 15 and 16 is shown another embodiment of the invention in which the light-directing and light-reecting ring member 49 is built into an instrument to form an integral part thereof. In this embodiment, the instrument mechanism is housed in a sub-casing 1| provided in the main casing 20, s-aid sub-casing constituting a support for the dial V46 with which the pointer 41 cooperates. The light conducting ring member 49 is disposed in front of the dial 46 and held in place by means of a retaining ring 12 and the cover glass 45, the latter being held against said ring member by the clamping ring 5| as in Fig. 5. In this embodiment, however, the ends 56 and 51 of the ring member 49 are bent outwardly thereof, as shown in Fig. 16, and are made to project into an auxiliary compartment 20a of the main casing 20, into which the lamp 40 is adapted to project when the lamp socket 38 is inserted into an opening 13 provided in the front of the instrument as shown in Fig. I5. Thus, the ends 5B and 51, instead of being disposed directly opposite each other as is the case in Figs. 3 and 7, are disposed at an angle to each other as shown in Fig. 16 with the lamp 40 disposed in the angular space formed by said ends. In order to completely conceal the illuminating ring member from view when the instrument is viewed from the front, an annular shield 14 is provided which h-as an outwardly extending flange 15 by means of which said shield is held in place in front of said ring member 49 by the cover glass 45. Otherwise, the ring member functions in the same manner as in the other embodiments hereinbefore described.

In Fig. 17 is shown a still further embodiment of the invention, wherein the member 49 is in the form of a straight glass or quartz rod extending along only the upper edge of the dial or surface 46, the latter being shown as rectangular. In this embodiment the light rays are ldirected downwardly of the surface from its upper edge and are distributed over said surface, the amount of light emitted being' constant since the slit 42a tapers outward from the end adjacent the lamp 40. The other end of said rod may be coated with the material 4| in order to prevent the light rays from being emitted at any other place except from the slit 42a.

The uncoated or clear surfaces or slits 42, 43 or 42a may be formed by leaving the portions uncoated at the time that the material 4| is applied to the ring member or the latter may be completely coated and then the material 4| removed to form the necessary slits.

There are thus provided novel means for indirectly illuminating an indicating dial of an instrument or other indicating device whereby the light is substantially equally distributed to the dial without producing glare and without rendering the light source or any rays therefrom visible from the front of the dial. There is also provided, as a new article of manufacture, a novel optical member for use in illuminating a dial whereby light may be introduced to the dial from a point source and the rays from the latter directed in a confined path adjacent the dial and then reflected from said path out of said optical member and then substantially evenly distributed over the surface of the dial to illuminate the latter together with the pointer if one be provided. There is further provided a. novel illuminating adapter which may be attached toa ready-built 4instrument mounted on a panel for indirectly illuminating the dial of the instrument from an external source.

Although several embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described by way of example, various ch-anges in the form and relative arrangement of the parts, which will now appear to those skilled in the art, may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.

Reference is, therefore, to be had to the appended claims for a definition of the limits ofthe invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In an indicating instrument, the combination of a casing provided with a dial having a dark background and a contrasting light-diffusing scale and pointer, a light-conducting and light-emitting member extending substantially along only the periphery of the dial and formed to prevent light emerging therefrom except through a relatively narrow passage provided at that side thereof which is adjacent said dial substantially along the entire length of said member, and means for introducing light into said member from the exterior thereof.

2. In combination, a dial or indicating surface having a dark background and contrasting lightdiffusing characters or numerals to be illuminated, an elongated light-conducting and lightemitting optical member having a form corresponding to the contour of said dial and located adjacent the front of said di-al and so constructed and arranged as to prevent light emerging therefrom except at that side thereof which is adjacent said dial, and means for introducing light into said member from an external source whereby said light is emitted by said member only in the direction of the dial.

3. In combination, a dial or indicating surface having characters or numerals thereon to be illuminated, an elongated light-conducting and light-emitting member disposed adjacent said dial and defining a confined light-conducting path extending along so much of said dial or surface as is desired to be illuminated, said member being confined to the periphery of said dial and so constructed and arranged as to prevent light emerging therefrom except at that side thereof which is adjacent said dial, and means for introducing light into said member from an external source whereby said light is directed through said member along its length and is emitted by said member from the side thereof in a direction toward the dial.

4. An element for use in illuminating a circular dial, comprising an open-ended annular glass or quartz member having a diameter substantially conducted therethrough and are prevented from 75 characteriaed'by the `a desired geometric shape cooperating with andava emerging therefrom except through the lightemitting passage, whereby said rays may be directed in a direction toward the dial -when the latter is placed adjacent to saidv member.

5.- In combination, a casing provided lwith a circular dial having a dark background and a contrasting light-diffusing scale, an annular light-conducting and light emitting member extending substantially around the periphery only of saiddial and spaced outwardlya suitable distance therefrom and having its surface so treated as to prevent emission of light therefrom but forming a light-emitting passage extending along said member on that side thereof which is adjacent said dial, and means for introducing light rays into said memberfrom an external source whereby said rays are conducted around said dial by said member and are emitted through said passage in a direction towards the dial.

6. In combination, a casing provided with a circular dial having a dark background and a contrasting light-diffusing scale, anv annular light-conducting member surrounding said dial and spaced outwardly a suitable distance from said dial and having 'its surface so treated as to prevent emission of light therefrom but forming a light-emitting passage extending along said member on that side thereof which is adjacent said dial, means for introducing light rays into said member from an external source whereby said rays are conducted around said dial by said member and are emitted through said passage in a direction towards the dial, and an annular shield in front of and concealing said light-conducting member from the front of said casing.

'I. Means for illuminating an indicating surface provided with a cover glass, comprising a light source, and light-'conducting and transmitting means formed to enclose a space -havingl sai light source, the envelope ofv said light-conducting means having a treated portion whose cross sectional area gradually changes as said portion extends along said envelope ywhereby light is emitted throughout the extent of said means uniformly over said surface.

8; A combination as set out in claim 6 but characterized by the fact that the elongated light-conducting member is constructed of optical material and is triangular in cross-section.

9. A combination as setout in, claim 6 but light is reflected outsaid member.- y10. In van indicating instrument including a vdial to be illuminated, the combination of a lightconducting and light-emitting member extndsage provided Jing substantially along only the periphery of the dlalsnd formed to prevent light emerging therefrom except through a relatively narrow pasat that side thereof which is ad- :scent the am sumsnusuy sions the entire 11. In an indicatinginstnnnsnt having an infact that the. elongated -v-light-conducting member is constructed of optical material having a plurality of markings along -its surface whereby said wardly from the side of geometric shape.

meeting surface to be iuuminated, the combination of an elongated light-conducting member formed to enclose a space having a desired geometrical shape, means for introducing light raysV into said member from an external source, and

vmeans on the periphery of said member for reecting said light rays outwardly from said member throughout its extent in a direction from its periphery and towards said surface to illuminate the same. 12.' In an indicating instrumenthaving an indicating surface to be illuminated, the combinaton of an elongated light-conducting member formed to enclose a space lhaving a desired geometrical shape, means for introducing light rays into said member from an external source. means for emitting said light rays outwardly from said member throughout -its fextent in a direction from its periphery and towards saidv surface to illuminate the same, said emitting means being so arranged along said member in a direction extending away from said light source Vthat uniform intensity of illumination is obtained upon said surface.

13. In an indicating instrument having an 'indicating surface to be illuminated, the combination of an elongated light-conducting member adjacent said surface and formed to enclose a space having a predetermined geometric-shape in a plane substantially parallel? to or coincident with said surface to provide a conned lightconducting path having said geometric shape whereby light rays introduced into said member from -an external source are conned to travel only along said path, a source of light externally of said light-conducting member for introducing light rays' into said member whereby they are' conducted along said confined path. and means for divertingsaid light rays out of said confinedY path at points therealong in directions from said path and towards said surface to illuminate the same.

14. -In an indicating instrument having a circular indicating surface to be Iilluminated, the combination of an annular solid light-conducting member adjacent said surface to provide a confined annular light-conducting path in a plane substantially parallel tp or coincident with said l Asaid periphery and towards said surface to i1- luminate the same.

15. An illumination device comprising an elongated member of lightconducting material formed to provide throughout the entire length of said member a continually direction-changing light-conducting path having a predetermined means` for introducing light into said member from theexterior thereof, and means with said member for renecting, thelight out of said member from any chosen sidethereof in any desired vdirection at points extending along substantially the entire length of said member.

'- 1 GREGORY v. RYLBKY.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2480393 *Oct 6, 1947Aug 30, 1949Bossert Mark WDial light
US2515437 *Nov 12, 1946Jul 18, 1950Dobbins John PIlluminated mirror device
US2537971 *Dec 19, 1944Jan 16, 1951Jr Ralph J DamesInstrument illumination
US2551622 *Jan 14, 1947May 8, 1951Edgar H MohrIlluminated plastic advertising medium
US2566332 *Jan 20, 1944Sep 4, 1951William A HuberPlan position indicating system
US2606277 *Dec 17, 1947Aug 5, 1952Triplett Electrical Instr CoIlluminating means for instrument dials
US2654020 *Dec 10, 1949Sep 29, 1953Lockheed Aircraft CorpIndirect instrument illumination
US2664848 *Dec 4, 1950Jan 5, 1954Sylvania Electric ProdDial
US2673924 *Mar 2, 1950Mar 30, 1954Roper John MInstrument lighting cover panel
US2815607 *Nov 26, 1954Dec 10, 1957William E BeattyProcess and apparatus for the culture of photo-synthetic micro-organisms and macro-organisms, particularly algae
US2874268 *Jan 26, 1956Feb 17, 1959Gen Dynamics CorpInstrument illuminating device
US3015900 *Nov 7, 1958Jan 9, 1962Richard F FrinkInternally illuminated sign
US3040168 *Sep 25, 1957Jun 19, 1962Kollsman Instr CorpInstrument lighting device
US3302012 *Jun 26, 1964Jan 31, 1967Dornier Werke GmbhLighting system utilizing the floodlight principle
US3318032 *Aug 12, 1965May 9, 1967Robison Edward CIlluminated display frame
US5013893 *Sep 14, 1989May 7, 1991E.G.O. Elektro-Gerate Blanc U. FischerHeating device
US5669692 *Nov 17, 1995Sep 23, 1997Timex CorporationFiber optic lighting system
US6183099Jun 9, 1999Feb 6, 2001Timex CorporationLight guide for illuminating a dial
US6848822May 31, 2002Feb 1, 20053M Innovative Properties CompanyLight guide within recessed housing
US20090159589 *May 14, 2007Jun 25, 2009Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate GmbhHousehold Appliance, Preferably Cooking Hob
EP1108613A2 *Nov 9, 2000Jun 20, 2001Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.Fiber optic lighted instrument panel
Classifications
U.S. Classification362/23.15, 116/287, 40/546, 362/23.1
International ClassificationG01D11/28, G02B6/00, H01R33/00, F21V8/00, G12B11/02
Cooperative ClassificationH01R33/00, G02B6/007, G02B6/0013, G02B6/0021, G01D11/28, G02B6/0086, G12B11/02
European ClassificationG01D11/28, G12B11/02, H01R33/00, G02B6/00L6I